Episode #020 – The Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby - Cocktails - Speaking Easy Podcast

It’s that time of year again–Derby Season. Specifically, the Kentucky Derby: a celebration of horses and bourbon, two of Kentucky’s greatest contributions to the world of culture. You don’t have to get a big hat or a seersucker suit and head to Churchill Downs to enjoy in the spirit–we here at the Speaking Easy Podcast have got you covered.

On this episode, we talk to a true Kentucky gal, our friend Lauren Hayes, and you’ll hear about:

  • Not one, but two kinds of pie for your Derby social
  • An additional appropriate drink for the Derby other than the classic Mint Julep
  • How to survive your first (or 50th) Derby Party
  • A history about the race, which has grown well beyond Bourbon Country

Mint Julep Recipe - Juleps - Kentucky Derby Cocktails (2)Kentucky Derby Recipes:

We’ve already shared a recipe for a Julep, but another Derby Drink is called The Oaks Lily, so-named for the race of the filies–female horses–taking place the Friday before Derby Saturday.

The Oaks Lily:


  • 1 1/4 oz. GREY GOOSE® Vodka
  • 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Cranberry Juice


Once the ingredients are mixed, place the pinkish cocktail in an Official Oaks Lily® glass (stemless wine glass) with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with a blackberry and lemon wedge.

Kentucky Derby PiePecan and Bourbon Pie:

A traditional Southern pie, this is sure to please your imbibing guests. To the right you’ll see a piece of the pie Lauren made us for the show. We’d include the recipe, but we’re a cocktail podcast, not a pie podcast — allow that might become a new side project. Check out this recipe at Epicurious.

Chess Pie

The second pie Lauren made us, Chess Pie, is another old southern pie. Why is it called Chess Pie? Lauren found two possible reasons:

  1. The pie’s thick filling allows it to sit out and a pie chest, and the name eventually morphed into Chess Pie
  2. This delicious southern pie was “just pie” and when said with a thick southern drawl, it sounded like “chess pie”

Regardless of Chess pie’s name’s origin, this sweet, rich pie will be a crowd pleaser at any Derby Party. Find a recipe here.

Other Features:

  • We won’t encourage you to gamble with your friends, but in case you are interested in the odds for the Kentucky Derby, we might as well provide you the link to the Live Odds.
  • For decorating for your Derby Party, we’ll throw you over to this great article from Southern Living.